Tell us a little bit about your work as the Seniors Coordinator
I absolutely love working with seniors. I think that they are an untapped resource in our community and have so much to bring to this world.
What are some of the programs that you offer seniors?
Currently, we offer Line Dancing, Pole Walking, Gardening and Seniors Lunches. This week we are hosting a Healthy Ageing Forum where we plan to bring together a large number of seniors from our community. Through a variety of fun activities, brainstorming and discussions, we hope to find out what our seniors want in their community and from there, build our future programming.
COVID shifted some of our priorities for our seniors’ program. Now we’re looking to rebuild. I think that the senior today is very different from the senior of thirty years ago. What we’re hoping to get out of our Healthy Ageing Forum this week is a clearer idea about what today’s senior is looking for, and from there, expand our program with 6 to 8 additional programs and activities.
What is the LEAP into Action program?
LEAP stands for Leadership Engagement for Awesome People. We have put together a group of engaged people over the age of 55 who are interested in building a community in ways that support people of all ages to thrive. Over the past few months, we have been running a special program called “LEAP into Action”, a leadership training program for our volunteers. This group will be helping at our Healthy Aging Forum on November 30th and moving forward, will also help lead and facilitate the new programming that we are planning to put into place.
How many seniors do you have engaged in your programming?
We have had about 600 to 700 seniors tap into our programming over the past couple of years. It sounds like a lot, however, there are a lot of seniors who haven’t come out. The stats indicate that there are around 5500 seniors in our community. Our goal is to reach out to seniors who haven’t connected to try and get them involved.
What do you feel some seniors are hesitant to connect, and what would be your advice for those people?
Some seniors feel hesitant and scared to come out. COVID certainly didn’t help matters. It further isolated a number of our seniors, and like other things in life, when you stop doing something for a while, it’s more difficult to begin again. My advice would be:
- If you’re nervous about trying something new, grab a friend and ask them to join you. We welcome everyone! I’ve met some incredible people through our programs. If you’ve been isolated for a while, it isn’t easy. But if you take the first step, join one of our programs, you might find it’s just what you need. You might meet a new friend or learn a new skill. And who knows where that will take you…
- Our weekly Seniors Lunches are an easy way to get involved, meet some new friends, and learn more about what we do. The cost is $5. It takes place on Tuesdays at City Heights (155 East 37th Avenue). It’s a nice way to meet other seniors in our neighbourhood. Everyone enjoys good food, and indeed, some of the best conversations happen around a shared meal. So, come join us! All you have to do is call me on the Monday before at 236-862-8694 and I will sign you up. I look forward to meeting you.
Tell me a success story.
I was talking to a woman on the phone today. She started coming to our Seniors Lunch and through that met some new friends. Someone shared with her some information about Little Mountain Neighbourhood House’s Music and More on Main program and she started attending those concerts as well. She said she performed a few songs last week and now is also part of our LEAP into Action program. She shared with me today: “You know? It just seems like everything is coming up roses these days!” It’s been so heartwarming to hear about all this stuff that she’s becoming involved in. You could tell that she was proud of herself; that she was getting out, meeting lots of people, and gaining so much from it. It’s stories like this that make my job worthwhile.
What is one of your most popular programs?
I would say it’s Line Dancing! It’s harder than it looks! Not only is it a good physical workout, but the brain gets a workout as well. And it’s a great opportunity to meet others. A few of our line dancers will be performing at our Healthy Ageing Forum this week.
For more information about LMNH’s Seniors Programs, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (236) 862-8694 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.